Spring onions, look similar to scallions, but you’ll notice that they have larger onion bulbs at the base. These onions come from the varietals that produce bulbs and are basically more mature versions of scallions. They are planted as seedlings in the late fall and then harvested the next spring, thus the word “spring” in the name.
Spring onions are sweeter and mellower than regular onions, but the greens are more intense in flavor than scallions. The bulbs can be red or white, depending on the varietal, and while they can be used in much the same way as regular bulb onions, they are great grilled, roasted whole, or used like pearl onions.
The flavors and textures of scallions and spring onions are similar, but keep in mind that they have a different intensity of flavors. I don’t recommend using spring onions in place of scallions if the scallions are left raw, as spring onions have a stronger flavor. If you’re planning on cooking the scallions or spring onions, however, then the cooking will mellow and even out the differences, so they’re fairly interchangeable for this use.
Roasted Spring Onions
- 4 bunches spring onions, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss onions and thyme with 4 Tbsp. oil in a shallow 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Add stock and roast until tender, 30–35 minutes.
When onions are almost finished roasting, toss breadcrumbs and zest with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Toast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes.
- Serve onions topped with breadcrumbs.
Recipe by Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
Photograph by Yossy Arefi